Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Lyres of Lemniscate - Drone Ensemble Workshop

On the final day of our Lyres of Lemniscate exhibition, Drone Ensemble lead a workshop in which we taught participants how to make an instrument. The workshop participants joined Drone Ensemble for the final performance of the exhibition. Workshop participants played their new instruments along with a range of the other Drone Ensemble instruments.

Joe began the workshop by demonstrating some fundamental principles of sound and explained how the different instruments work.

We then showed the group an example of the instrument that they were going to make, and took them through the different stages of creation.

Bending the metal.

We then showed the participants some of the other instruments that they could play in the performance.

After the demonstrations, participants got stuck into making their own instruments and tested out the instruments they would be playing in the performance.

Drone Ensemble would like to thank all the workshop participants for their enthusiasm, hard work and for making such a terrific contribution to the final performance. We hope that you enjoyed it!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Introducing a new instrument to the Drone Enseble

Following a workshop that Joe participated in during TUSK Festival, he was inspired to create a new instrument. The new addition to the Drone Ensemble was given its debut yesterday when Drone Ensemble lead an instrument making workshop. 

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Dialogues 5: The NewBridge Project : Gateshead

Dialogues 5: The NewBridge Project : Gateshead
6 - 8 November 2018

Exhibition launch: Tuesday 6 November, 5:30-8pm
Open crits: Wednesday 7 November, 1-4pm
The value of critique: Thursday 8 November, 10am-12pm

To mark the culmination of Mark Devereux Projects’ (MDP) critical mentoring project, Dialogues 5, MDP will be in residence in The NewBridge Project gallery space, holding three public events that will consider the value of critique. An exhibition of new and recent artwork from the project’s participating artists – Shaun C. Badham, Holly Davey, Hannah Leighton-Boyce, Hollie Miller, and Amy & Oliver-Thomas-Irvine – will act as the catalyst for these discussions.

Over four days, the artists and MDP team will be working in the gallery testing out new developments within their respective practices, from materials to the methods of display. This test-bed approach will be informed by the extensive conversations between MDP, the artists and their assigned curatorial mentor that have taken place throughout Dialogues 5. The results can be seen at an opening between 5.30-8pm Tuesday 6 November.

Critical dialogue lies at the heart of Dialogues 5, featuring two different opportunities to further engage with this important element of artistic practice. We invite audiences to attend an open crit session to discuss the work on display in the exhibition with the artists on Wednesday 7 November. The residency will conclude with an open discussion on the morning of Thursday 8 November, which will assess the importance of critical dialogue to artists in developing their practices. Attendees are encouraged to actively contribute their thoughts, experiences and perspectives during the event.

Director Mark Devereux says, “The NewBridge Project is the perfect venue to mark the culmination of Dialogues 5. The participating artists will use the residency to test experimental new works and methodologies, which they’ve been formulating over the past eight months, as an important step in translating these discussions into their respective practices.”

Further information

The NewBridge Project : Gateshead
232-240 High Street

Dialogues 5 is a major new project from Mark Devereux Projects providing tailored critique and mentoring for five visual artists. Selected from a national open call application process, the participating artists attended a five-day creative retreat at Clayhill Arts, Somerset, in June. The critical dialogue held before, during and after the retreat set-up curatorial mentoring between the artists and assigned mentors: Fiona Bradley (Director, Fruitmarket Gallery), David Kefford & Sarah Evans (Aid & Abet), Katie Hickman (Curator, BALTIC), Claire Mander (Director, theCoLAB) and Nathaniel Pitt (Director, Division of Labour). Dialogues 5 is supported by Arts Council England, Clayhill Arts and The NewBridge Project. Please visit for more information.

The NewBridge Project is an active and vibrant artist-led community supporting the development of artists and curators through the provision of space for creative practice, curatorial opportunities and an ambitious artist-led programme of exhibitions, commissions, artist development and events. The NewBridge Project was established in 2010 to provide exchange and support in an engaged and discursive community of artists. We develop artistic talent through artist development programmes, curatorial opportunities and provision of space. The shared workspace is a critical and collaborative environment that allows artists to discuss and develop new ideas and projects.

Image: Horst (London) | Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine | 2018 | installation view: Averard Hotel, London | image courtesy of the artist

Mark Devereux Projects is currently supported by:


Copyright © 2018 Mark Devereux Projects, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The White Pube - One of the best 'Creative' Talk's I've ever been to!

I'm just out of the weekly Artist / Curator / Writer Talk at Newcastle University and am totally buzzing and fired up. This week was 'The White Pube' "the collaborative identity of Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad under which [they] write criticism and (sometimes) curate. 

It is based at and also on Instagram and Twitter as @thewhitepube. 

[They] publish a new text every Sunday, mostly exhibition reviews but every so often baby essays filed under art thoughts

[They] started writing about art because [they thought] everything else was boring/overly academic/white nonsense////and male. 

Every review is a personal reaction, and a record of an encounter with an aesthetic experience. [They] wanna write GOOD ~ have politix ~ n call out the general bullshit that stops a lot of us even wantin 2 go to galleries."

Their presentation was equally as entertaining as their writing is, and it was a pure joy to listen to them freely discuss matters that simply many other creatives are too scared to approach. I'm thinking in particular of the fact that they share their accounts with readers and thus highlight the institutions that simply fail to pay a fair wage. 

It is too common that artists / writers / musicians / curators are paid a minimal fee without travel expenses and accommodation. If we all shared our accounts online it would show which institutions are good and bad at paying artists.

I feel there is a bigger conversation that needs to happen here, so please watch this space!

Monday, 22 October 2018

Drone Ensemble Performance at Workplace -3:15pm, Saturday 27th October

Hear Drone Ensemble perform within their installation Lyres of Lemniscate for the last time at Workplace Foundation, Gateshead.

The performance will feature a range of new instruments made during the preceding workshop (see separate event - booking necessary)

Lyres of Lemniscate was commissioned by Workplace Foundation and Tusk Festival supported by the Digital Cultures Research Group in CultureLab at Newcastle University.


Drone Ensemble Performance for TUSK FESTIVAL 2018 at Workplace Foundation. Photo: Rob Blazey

Sign up now to participate in an instrument making workshop with Drone Ensemble at Workplace Foundation on Saturday 27th October

Sat 27 October 2018
13:00 – 16:00

Workplace Foundation
The Old Post Office
19-21 West Street

Join the Drone Ensemble in an instrument making workshop at Workplace Foundation.

Participants will have access to materials and tools and the expertise of Drone Ensemble members and will make new instruments that make use of both acoustic and amplified sounds.
Participants will then perform alongside Drone Ensemble in a public performance to close their installation Lyres of Lemniscate.
The workshop is suitable for participants 14 years and above and is limited to 12 spaces.
Lyres of Lemniscate was commissioned by Workplace Foundation and Tusk Festival supported by the Digital Cultures Research Group in CultureLab at Newcastle University.
Please reserve your ticket via the EventBrite link below

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Great and Tiny War Dates Extended - 7 September - 28 November 2018

Great & Tiny War now open until 28 November

It pleases me to announce that, to keep up with demand, the run of Bobby Baker's Great & Tiny War has been extended and extra time slots and more dates have been added so that everyone who wants to can come.


There are a maximum of 4 tickets available for each tour slot. Slots are available Wednesday to Sunday from 7 September to 28 November 2018.

Relaxed visits for Mondays, Tuesdays and mornings Wednesday – Friday are available by special arrangement – please email us or call 07535 008875.
Book tickets by following the link below

Access for all - New resources available

Easy read guideThe Wunderbar team are trying our hardest with the resources we have to ensure that the Great & Tiny War house is accessible for as many people as possible.

Visitors to the house can now use:
  • An easy read visual guide explaining clearly what to expect in advance
  • A captioned film showing what's upstairs in the house 
  • Audio descriptions for the blind or partially sighted
  • A portable hearing loop
  • A transcript of the audio guide
  • The option to listen to the audio tour on loud speaker
  • Bespoke visits tailored to your needs, including relaxed and BSL on request.

Do get in touch using the contact details below if there's anything we can do to help make your visit easier.


Tel:07535 008875. 

We'll do everything we can to make it work for you.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Drone Ensemble mention in the Guardian review!

Tusk festival review – multisensory showcase of sonic adventures
Dave Simpson

In darkness illuminated by spooky projections, Cee Haines AKA Chaines fuses guitar, clarinet, keyboard, looped banks of her own singing and at one point screaming to produce a mesmeric collage of ecclesiastical beauty and creeping dread. When a young woman in the crowd performs bizarre, interpretative dance movements in slow motion, it’s difficult to work out whether she is part of the audience or the performance. Now in its third year at the Sage, after intimate beginnings in 2011 at the Star and Shadow cinema, Tusk is a three-day festival of the experimental, weird and wonderful that features artists who rarely play in the UK. Ramones, Blondie and the Fall producer Craig Leon spotlights his lesser-known yet enduring guise of electronic composer. With longtime synth partner Cassell Webb and a string quartet, a superb performance draws from 1981’s pioneering proto-techno work Nommos and his forthcoming Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music vol 2: The Canon, blurring the divide between contemporary classical, synth punk and banging techno.

There is much to see and hear, from the visually stunning and hypnotic mechanical humming lyres of Newcastle’s Drone Ensemble (in the nearby Workplace gallery) to the furiously intense free jazz of Irreversible Entanglements and local artist Joseph Hillier’s thrillingly disorienting Blind Blind Blind Blind installation: sculptures bonded to four simultaneously playing vinyl copies of Talking Heads’ Blind interfere with each turntable’s stylus to create a constantly changing cacophony. The festival’s uncompromising spirit is such that comically chaotic Blackpool avant punks Ceramic Hobs – bearded men in dresses, a topless, beer-bellied singer and songs about mental health and curry sauce – are among the more conventional offerings.
“If it’s too much, earplugs are available,” says the woman welcoming anyone tiptoeing towards Otomo Yoshihide’s experiments in extreme noise, using an electric guitar and record decks. The Japanese avant garde master submits the latter to such sonic and physical assaults – pounding them with his fists – you suspect he will eventually be arrested for crimes against musical equipment. New Yorker Lea Bertucci’s experimental music is easier on the ear, but no less adventurous. She uses visuals, but her vast, spacious fusion of clarinet, sax, glitch and echo and is best experienced with eyes closed, when her pensive, beautiful noise hits like a multisensory massage.

Bertucci also helms Double Bass Crossfade, in which two upright bass players playing with bows fill the vast Sage concourse with improvised sub bass. Also from NYC, guitar/percussion duo 75 Dollar Bill channel Sun Ra, Middle Eastern and African music into mesmerically repetitive, urban desert rock. Sarah Davachi’s stellar Sunday set combines electronic hums and string players, who hold each solitary note for minutes at a time, building to a gradually evolving symphony of stillness.
Bradford’s Hameed Brothers Qawwal and Party pull one of the biggest crowds to the largest hall for a euphorically received set of Punjabi singing, dizzying tabla and percussion. A similar throng assembles for legendary minimalist composer Terry Riley, with his son Gyan. Playing piano and electric guitar, the father and son have an almost telepathic connection as they lock into the 83-year-old’s subtly jazz-influenced repetitive grooves before the younger man hurtles off into another dimension. Blasting from a symphony of Clangers-like noises to a sublime piece for melodica and guitar epitomises Tusk’s celebration of sound and possibilities.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Pinnel at TUSK

I was delighted to experience Pinnel playing at the Sage on Friday night! Newcastle-based multi-disciplinary artist Lindsay Duncanson’s work “concerns people and space and how our relationship to landscape is mediated through culture and history; how we negotiate the sublime, the unimaginable, the beauty and fear of modern life”. 

Lindsay formed the Noizechoir experimental vocal group with partner Marek Gabrysch and they have since performed across the UK and Europe, including at TUSK Festival. 

The Noize Choir is a performance ensemble that was formed in 2011 by Newcastle based artists Lindsay Duncanson and Marek Gabrysch. It involves a loose collective of noise enthusiasts with a common desire to use the human voice free of the traditional restraints of typical choral settings, language or musical notation. Their work is based on a shared fascination with science, culture and landscape. They indulge in phenomenological explorations of museum collections, or imaginings of our geological past. Replicating and experimenting with the sound of machines or the natural world, Noize Choir continually find ways to push and pull the idea of what a choir can be. Noize Choir have composed and performed in French churches and on Austrian radio, at the Baltic Centre for contemporary arts, The Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and the Grade II listed Preston Bus station.

As an artist, she’s very interested in landscape and location and the human relationship to it. 

As Pinnel, Lindsay creates what she calls “vocal soundscapes” using live looping and her own voice, building compelling rhythms and rounds through little more than breath and punctuated utterances and creating an affect that’s as much machine-like as human.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Thanks to all who came to the Drone Ensemble performance

Thanks to all who came experience Drone Ensemble launch TUSK 2018 with their Lyres of Lemniscate performance at Workplace Foundation last night. It was great to see so many people crammed into the gallery, seemingly 'enjoying' being in the 'Drone zone'!

The exhibition continues until 27th October, and there are instruments that we did not play yesterday that come alive in the exhibition, so go back to have another Drone Ensemble experience.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Drone Ensemble Performance & Artist Talk at TUSK Festival - Lyres of Lemniscate - WORKPLACE Gallery

Drone Ensemble Events during TUSK 2018


Drone Ensemble are delighted to be kicking off TUSK 2018 with a live performance at WORKPLACE Gallery as part of their current Lyres of Lemniscate exhibition. 

4pm - Workplace Gallery – TUSK Festival + Fringe opening performance by DRONE ENSEMBLE

10.30am - Workplace Gallery: DRONE ENSEMBLE in conversation with John Bowers about their TUSK Festival Lyres of Lemniscate exhibition

Exhibition open: 29th September – 27 th October
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm
TUSK Festival weekend (12/13/14 th October) – 10am – 6pm
Workplace Gallery
The Old Post Office
19-21 West Street

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Joy of Text on BBC Radio 4

Artist and broadcaster Bob and Roberta Smith, famed for his hand-painted slogans, goes on a personal journey to explore how text and language are used in art. 

From monks in Cistercian Abbeys and medieval bureaucrats, to conceptual art subversives challenging who could be considered artists, Bob and Roberta Smith draws on a wide range of traditions. He also re-examines his own formative experiences with the interplay of words, colour and form to bring listeners into the present. 

Tom Phillips

Over the course of the programme, we're led on an emotional trip through a world of cut up Victorian novellas - and we encounter pop-art printing making nuns working at the coal face of the civil rights. Bob and Roberta Smith meets political cartoonists creating new languages, artists fusing text and images to give voices to the marginalised, and a group of women democratising art through text, images and a Risograph printing machine. 

Corita Kent

This programme reveals that - away from plays, novels or song lyrics - text and language have been adopted by artists in contrasting and ever-evolving ways, but these all reveal that text is an art form in itself. Featuring Steve Bell, Corita Kent, Janette Parris, Tom Phillips, Donna Steele and Sofia Niazi.

Monday, 8 October 2018

A Poetry Remedy

Last week I was fortunate enough to have my first 1:1 poetry consultation with Newcastle University Teaching Fellow Sue Spencer.

Following in the steps of local poets Julia Darling & Cynthia Fuller and ‘The Emergency Poet’, Teaching Fellow Sue Spencer believes that poetry can help in troubled times.

On National Poetry Day Sue was in the Walton Library offering students and staff a unique opportunity to interact with poetry via a 1:1 consultation. Sue listened to you and discussed whatever topic you wanted to talk about. Based on this conversation, she carefully selected a poem that might help clarify, illuminate, soothe and comfort you. 

I found this experience to be meaningful, helpful and stimulating. The poem that she chose for me resonates deeply with me and is highly appropriate given my situation and the conversation we shared. I hope for, and look forward to, more Poetry Remedies in the future.                                                 

Sue Spencer is a teaching fellow in Combined Honours and an alumna of the MA Creative Writing (Poetry). She has over 10 years of experience using poetry to facilitate wellbeing in education and health care. She has worked alongside The Emergency Poet and has developed a passion for creative approaches to reflective practice and personal development.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Thanks to all who joined Drone Ensemble for the opening of Lyres of Lemniscate

After weeks of hard work and planning, and a very hectic final week installing the exhibition in the gallery, on Friday night Drone Ensemble presented our first exhibition, Lyres of Lemniscate, at Workplace Gallery. We would like to thank everyone who came to the exhibition, and hope you will be back for some of the other programmed activities throughout the exhibition.

The work is a slowly evolving sonic meditation of drone tonalities and hypnotic visual stimuli using hand-made instruments, objects and electronic circuits to produce an installation that plays with the interaction between electronic and acoustic sound production.

Initially the sound emanates from two 18-string lyres whose strings are activated by magnetic induction. The vibration of the strings is relayed by coil pickups into a computer and can be re-routed using a games console into vibrational speakers that play upon suspended bone china ceramic disks, bringing another acoustic sound into the space.

In conjunction with the sonic element, the gallery is presented as a space in flux; altering visually as the exhibition progresses and new elements are included. The ceramic materials are employed to alter state when exposed to sonic vibrations and differing frequencies; cracking and breaking to activate percussive sounds. Traces of the evolving nature of the work are evidenced further in film, presenting an examination of the delicate material from fluid to solid, brittle and sonorous.

We will next be performing on Friday 12th October at 4pm as the opener to TUSK Festival. 

The exhibition runs 28 September - 27 October 2018
The gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday, 11am-5pm